Three “extremely lucky” people were rescued after their boat got into difficulty in the North Sea.
The trio were on a 30ft motor cruiser near off Buckie and Burghead when they lost engine power and began drifting towards the shore at just before 8pm yesterday.
They used a radio to alert the Coastguard – and fled onto a life raft when the boat ran aground
The Coastguard deployed scores of rescuers and sent the rescue helicopter to the scene from Aberdeen.
Rescuers pulled the three out of the water and brought them to shore.
Paramedics were called and gave them treatment. None needed to be taken to hospital.
Jonathan Mustard, HM Coastguard said: ‘The people were extremely lucky.
“Fortunately they were all wearing lifejackets and had suitable life saving equipment with means of raising the alarm.
“They were able to abandon their vessel for the life raft.
“Coastguard rescue officers entered the water in rough conditions and were able to bring everyone safely to shore.’
A Coastguard spokesman added: “HM Coastguard has coordinated the rescue of three people from the water after their vessel ran aground off Burghead.
“HM Coastguard was contacted by a 30ft motor cruiser with three people on board, by VHF radio, saying that they had lost engine power and were heading to the shore in bad weather off Burghead.
“The people abandoned the vessel and sought safety in their life raft.
“Shortly after their motor cruiser ran aground.
“Burghead Coastguard Rescue Team, Moray Independent Rescue Boat, Buckie RNLI Lifeboat, a Offshore Industry Rescue Bond helicopter from Aberdeen and Scottish Ambulance Service were all sent.
“Burghead Coastguard Rescue Team carried out a water rescue and all three people were brought safely to shore.
“The people were then checked over by the Scottish Ambulance Service.”
A Buckie RNLI spokesman said: “Buckie lifeboat was launched to a vessel in difficultly and the three crew taking to life raft, luckily with the help of local Coastguards the crew all made it safely to shore at Burghead .
“Sadly the conditions were too dangerous to try and salvage the vessel as there was no risk to life.”
A Moray Inshore Rescue Organisation spokesman (MIRO) said: “MIRO were paged at 7:59pm by Aberdeen Coastguard to attend a report of a boat drifting onto the rocks east of Burghead.
“MIRO Rescue made haste to Burghead in rough seas and on arrival found the vessel had been washed onto the rocks and the crew had been safely recovered by Burghead Coastguard.
“MIRO Rescue was stood down and returned to Findhorn where it was refuelled and made ready for service.”